University Interns Hit the Right Note With Sinfonia Viva Orchestra

University Interns Hit the Right Note With Sinfonia Viva Orchestra

East Midlands Orchestra Sinfonia Viva has called on support from the University of Derby for help in organising and promoting its busy summer programme.

The University’s Employer Engagement Team matched the Orchestra with students Rebecca Purcell (21) and Erin Hancox (20) who have been working alongside the Viva team based in Shaftesbury Street as part of a paid internship.

Rebecca has just finished her Business degree at the University of Derby and Erin has been studying Graphic Design.  Both are due to graduate this summer.

They joined Viva under the University’s Derby Internship Programme which provides students with at least 100 paid work experience in the local community – supported with part-ERDF funding to help cover wages.

Rebecca worked for the Derby Book Festival last year and her time at Viva has convinced her that she would now like to pursue a career in events management.

She has been particularly involved in supporting Viva’s 35th anniversary ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ regional tour this June.

The Orchestra is erecting its unique inflatable mobile venue in Derby Market Place, Mansfield, Scunthorpe, Mablethorpe and Holt in North Norfolk with two days of family performance, classical concerts and showcases by local arts organisations at each location.

Rebecca explained: “It has been incredible to be part of the team working on the tour and I am particularly looking forward to going out with them and see the Orchestra in action.

“I love cultural events and this work experience will hopefully help me to find a job in this sector.”

Erin has been helping to design a wide range of publicity material, including for Viva’s performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem at Derby Cathedral on June 28 as part of the Derby Remembers programme to commemorate the First World War.

She said: “I love classical music and was a chorister at Coventry Cathedral where the War Requiem was first performed so it has been particularly interesting to be working on the graphic design for the materials to promote that concert.

“I am very grateful for this internship.  Employers want experience but it is difficult to secure that as a student so the Derby Internship Programme is the perfect way to learn how our skills relate to the workplace.”

Sinfonia Viva Chief Executive Peter Helps continued: “Rebecca and Erin’s support at this very busy time for the Orchestra has been invaluable.

“Our tour and then our return to Derby Cathedral to perform the War Requiem has taken a huge amount of organisational and marketing skills and the input from Rebecca and Erin has helped ensure that this has all come together.

“The University of Derby’s Internship Programme is a superb way of bringing businesses and organisations together with talented young people and the Employer Engagement Team have been incredibly helpful with the recruitment process.

“We will definitely be using this service again.”

University of Derby Employer Engagement Coordinator Fiona Naismith concluded: “We are very proud of the Derby Internship Programme and the opportunities students gain from accessing quality work experience in local organisations that can benefit from our student’s talent and expertise.”

For more information about forthcoming concerts and about Sinfonia Viva’s 35th anniversary, please visit

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